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Mission statement: Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development

24 July 2009
by inadim -- last modified 25 July 2009

The mission of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development is to promote the sustainable development of Europe's agriculture and to ensure the well-being of its rural areas.



The mission of the DG for Agriculture and Rural Development will be achieved through:

  • the promotion of a robust and competitive agricultural sector which respects high environmental and production standards, ensuring at the same time a fair standard of living for the agricultural community;
  • Contributing to sustainable development of rural areas, in particular through helping the agricultural sector to adapt to new challenges, protecting the environment and the countryside, especially in view of climate change, and improving the quality of life in rural areas, whilst ensuring growth and jobs in the countryside;
  • the promotion of the European agricultural sector in world trade.

The Directorate-General aims at achieving high standards in implementing its objectives and policies, and has committed itself to:

  • Implementing policy in an effective manner, in line with Treaty and international obligations and the need to simplify legislation;
  • Contributing to other Community policies, in the fields of cohesion, competitiveness, employment, research, environment, food safety and external policies (enlargement, trade and development);
  • Managing the Community Budget in accordance with high standards of financial management, ensuring value for money, legality and regularity of transactions as well as transparency;

Main tasks in 2009

A review exercise of the 2003 reform, launched under the term "Health Check", has found political agreement in November 2008. Rules for direct payments have been reviewed and simplified. The Health Check also increases modulation rates and thus allows better response to new challenges, such as climate change, the need for better water management, the protection of biodiversity and the production of energy from biomass. Member States will also be able to assist dairy farmers in sensitive regions adjust and prepare for a situation without quotas. The implementation of this agreement is a major task for 2009.

In rural development, apart from the adaptation of programmes to the outcome of the Health Check, a major focus is on a Communication addressing the review of the Less Favoured Areas Scheme. Another Communication is planned on agricultural products quality policy, which takes into account the results of the Green Paper consultation and covers the requirements and standards met by farmers that go beyond hygiene and safety, the EU marketing standards, the EU quality schemes and the food quality certification schemes.

The Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development will continue to devote resources to development of the EU's trade agenda where agriculture plays an important role. Also, it will continue to work on the conclusion of Economic Partnership Agreements and the preparation of candidate and potential candidate countries for accession, in support of the Community's development and enlargement policies.

Source: European Commission